Gooseberry and elderflower cordial is a delightful and refreshing beverage that combines the tartness of gooseberries with the floral essence of elderflower. With minimal ingredients and simple preparation, you can create a homemade cordial that is both flavorful and invigorating. The tangy gooseberries and delicate elderflower petals infuse the syrup, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors. Whether enjoyed on its own over ice, mixed with sparkling water, or used as a base for cocktails, gooseberry and elderflower cordial offers a delightful combination of sweet and floral notes that will quench your thirst. Embrace the creativity of making this homemade cordial and savor its deliciousness with every sip.

Gooseberry and Elderflower Cordial

Monica from Eat Sleep Wild
Elderflowers are a highlight of my early summer foraging routine and I’m always looking for new ways to use them. Elderflower cordial is always the first thing I make. This recipe offers a twist on the usual, adding tart gooseberries to the infusion. It’s a killer combo!
Course Drinks


  • 10-12 freshly picked heads elderflower (or more if you pick smaller florets)
  • 600 g granulated sugar (1 lb 5 oz)
  • 600 ml water (20 fl oz)
  • 250 g green gooseberries, topped and tailed (9 oz)
  • 2 unwaxed lemons (or 1 unwaxed lemon and 20g (¾oz) (maybe less) citric acid)
  • Soda or sparkling water (to serve)


  • Pick over the elderflower heads, trimming the flowers away from the stalk and shaking out any insects.
  • Put the sugar in a large saucepan and add the measured water. Heat over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to the boil and add the gooseberries.
  • Simmer for 7–8 minutes, then take off the heat.
  • While the gooseberries are simmering, finely pare the rind of the lemon(s) and slice the flesh. Swirl the elderflowers gently in a bowl of cold water.
  • Remove the elderflowers from the water and add to the sugar syrup along with the lemon rind and slices and the citric acid, if using. Stir, lightly cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place overnight.
  • Strain the cordial through a fine sieve into a wide-necked jug or bowl. Pour the cordial through a funnel into 2 x 75cl) sterilized glass bottles and seal. Store in the refrigerator and consume within a month. You can also freeze the cordial in plastic bottles, though remember to leave some headspace to allow the liquid to expand.
  • To serve, dilute to taste with soda or sparkling water.


Makes about 1.5 litres
Note: using citric acid will increase the shelf life. Tip from Fiona: “You can make the cordial without citric acid if you’re not intending to keep it for long, but don’t overdo the lemon, otherwise it will just taste like lemonade.”
This recipe is courtesy of Monica from the Eat Sleep Wild blog.

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